Apart from bribing judges, bailiffs and journalists, Stanbic Zambia ltd is holding on to two securities belonging to Savenda Management
Services, sources within Stanbic have revealed. In both cases, Stanbic has been paid in full.
The first issue involves the now famous case where Savenda Management Services entered into a lease buy-back facility for a US$540,000 to buy a printing machine.
Savenda provided title deeds to its offices as security. Stanbic sources say it was agreed that Savenda would be making Monthly repayments by debit order from one of the company’s bank accounts. But, due to a faulty in the system of Stanbic Bank, Savenda’s instructions on the debit order were sent to the wrong account within Stanbic.
Stanbic wrote to Savenda explaining the problem and saying it had been sorted out. But during this same period and amid this confusion, Stanbic decided to report Savenda to the Credit Reference bureau (CRB) as a bad debtor. Stanbic later claimed that the account was still in arrears of $80,000 worth of instalments. The matter went to arbitration where the arbitrator current Supreme Court judge Charles Kajimanga awarded Stanbic US$1.36 million.
Judge Kajimanga, who was picked by Stanbic as arbitrator only gave Savenda 60 days to pay the US$1.36 million or else the bank should foreclose, that is grab, and sale the offices for Savenda.
Savenda, a local business pleaded with judges to be allowed to pay this arbitral award in instalments, but the Zambian courts refused. All this was collusion between Stanbic and named judges to destroy Savenda. Why would local courts give a local company only 60 days to pay a multilateral bank like Stanbic only 2 months to pay US$1.36 million? Note that, after the arbitration, Savenda took the matter to the High Court counterclaiming K192 million as loss of business. In the High Court, Savenda won after the court found that the problem was not that Savenda was failing to pay but faulty lay with the bank’s system.
Despite this, Savenda paid Stanbic the US$1.36 million as ordered by the arbitrator. Yet, upto now, Stanbic is holding on to the title deeds that were surrendered to the bank as security.
The second case involves a personal loan which Savenda management services Managing director Mr. Clever Mpoha obtained from Stanbic.
Sources within Stanbic explain that Mr Mpoha obtained a personal loan for K747, 000 to be paid over a period of 10 years. The loan was for building a house. When he had paid about K252, 000, Stanbic decided to recall the loan and demand that he pays all the remaining amount immediately. According to bank insiders, the Bank decided to recall the loan as punishment as at the same time Savenda was taken to arbitration. ‘How do you relate personal loan with company loan at the same time? This is why as employees we are worried that this bank will one day will find doors closed because the number of dissatisfied clients is increasing,’ one employee complained.
Mr Mpoha however obliged and paid the balance in full though when calculations were done, it was discovered that he paid more than what was on the agreement. But when he went to collect his title deeds, the bank refused. Stanbic gave him another bill. He was told he owed the bank K501, 000 in legal fees.
Stanbic Bank sources have complained that the systematic methods in which Stanbic is destroying local businesses and individuals is bad for Zambia. Citing the case of Mkushi farmer Costain Chilala who has been rendered a beggar after Stanbic grabbed his farms and sold them, Stanbic workers say they fear that one day Zambians will realize how Stanbic is destroying local business.
The employees complained that what the bank is doing in Zambia cannot be tolerated in South Africa where the owners come from and profits go or in Botswana where the current managing director Leina Gabaraane (in photo below) comes from.